August 10, 2012

Boruszkowski earns award from association

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Lilly Ann Boruszkowski's focus has always been on teaching.

Boruszkowski, a recently retired associate professor in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Department of Cinema and Photography, enjoyed working with hundreds of cinema students during her 30 years at the University. The University Film and Video Association will recognize Boruszkowski's commitment by presenting her with the 2012 UFVA Outstanding Teacher Award at the organization's banquet on Saturday, Aug. 11, in Chicago.

Earning recognition from her professional organization is "simply amazing," said Boruszkowski, whose previous involvement includes time on the UFVA executive board, elected secretary, and conference vice president.

Walter C. Metz, department chair, said Boruszkowski regularly helped to develop new curriculum, teach new courses, and work with graduate and undergraduate students on their projects. Her adaptability and commitment to students has been an important part of the department's success, he said.

Boruszkowski is a two-degree graduate of Northwestern University, and retired from SIU Carbondale earlier this summer.

"Lilly is a profoundly talented and energetic teacher of film production," Metz said. "While I am happy for her retirement, it is a great loss for our department."

In a letter supporting her nomination, Metz wrote Boruskowski "is among the most supportive teachers I have ever witnessed in my 23 years of involvement in academia. She is deeply caring about her students, her colleagues and the curriculum in which she teaches."

Boruskowski came to SIU Carbondale in August 1982. Her desire while at Northwestern was to pursue a career in film production, but Boruszkowski "fell into" teaching as an undergraduate and graduate student. In addition to teaching at Northwestern and the University of Illinois Chicago for professors who were on leave, Boruszkowski also taught filmmaking workshops at "Women Make Movies" in New York City, and "Chicago Filmmakers" in Chicago.

Boruszkowski recalls those early telephone calls from professors asking about her interest in teaching. It was during a time, she concedes, when students followed what their professors asked of them.

"Sometimes things happen in your life where you think, 'Okay, fate is trying to tell me something and it's literally calling me on the phone'," she said.

While at SIU Carbondale, Boruszkowski earned three outstanding teaching awards from the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

Boruszkowski said she enjoys teaching, particularly the moment students fully understand a concept.

"Being able to watch somebody 'get it' is one of the best things you can experience," she said.

In addition to her independent film work, Boruszkowski's creative work includes collaborating with departments on campus for instructional videos. She also has a best-selling educational video, "Camera and Lenses: An Introduction."

And while she is recently "retired," Boruszkowski's affection for and commitment to students and the University continues. She will mentor three cinema and photography students involved in two REACH (Research Enriched Academic Challenge) projects during the next year, and assist the college in recruitment efforts and during open house tours.

She will also take time to finish up various ongoing film projects.